The First Ever Religiously Sensitive Thanksgiving Spanikopita

As I said earlier this week, Thanksgiving is the best holiday of the year. No cards, no expectations, permission to stuff our faces, and the only gifts we give is ourself. At least if you can tear yourself away from the game for four seconds. Nate.

We split our time among various and sundry family members (read: my parents are divorced and my children are very popular around holiday time) and this year, was "Dad's Year" for Thanksgiving. He outdid himself with a seriously perfect meal on Thursday, the kind of meal to make all other meals weep copious tears while beating themselves in the head with the 800-pound New York Times Cookbook.

Think: A Candied Spicy Walnut and Pear Salad, Turkey with Homemade Mole Sauce (hello!) two kinds of sweet potatoes for even the non sweet potato-likers (ahem), perfectly crunchy green beans that demanded second helpings, and Nate's insanely awesome Cornbread-Chorizo-Chipotle Stuffing that puts to shame all other Cornbread-Chorizo-Chipotle Stuffings. Yes, even yours.

Oh, and then an upside down Tarte Tatin. Because we had so much room left.

A note to the unmarried and uncoupled lady friends among us: Surround yourself with men who cook well. The end.

So as not to subject us to two turkeys in a row, at my mom's house the previous night, we created a more rustic dinner, including the first ever Religiously Sensitive Thanksgiving Spanikopita.

Start with pastry dough and a gingerbread man cutter from the 70's.

Add a dreidel.

Aw look, they heart each other.

Sage snacks on carrots she grew herself from seeds.

Just like the book!

Thalia works hard to set the table, excited to eat off the good dishes for the first time.
Place cards! She wrote herself!

While Sage rolls on the floor...

to the tune of Dancing Queen.

Done! Complete with the initials S and T, to encourage the girls to actually try it. 
Thalia did. Kind of. And a new Thanksgiving tradition is born.

Did you create any new traditions this year?


Blogger Jessica said...

I love this. I love that everything about it included the girls and made them feel a part of it- the initials, the adorable placemats, growing the carrots, helping with the process. I think I'll try this next year.

It helps that we're Greek and actually LOVE spanakopita, too ;)

11/28/10, 8:06 AM  
Blogger Naomi said...

Amazing. I might have to snatch your new tradition for our religious/culturally ambiguous household.

(FYI the word verification is "heathen" I kid you not!)

11/28/10, 8:37 AM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Love this! Sage's carrots are the cutest things ever.

No new traditions this year unless you count watching John & Jamie dance-off to Just Dance 2's version of Jungle Boogie. I'm not sure they'll still be up for this in 2011 though.

11/28/10, 11:17 AM  
Blogger Mahlers On Safari said...

Love it! Especially the Dancing Queen part!

11/28/10, 1:38 PM  
Anonymous BOSSY said...

New traditions? Geesh, Bossy's family wouldn't hear of it. Which is why this past Thanksgiving was year one-hundred of having to prepare a broccoli casserole complete with cream of mushroom soup-like ingredients. The tackiest side dish ever made, and the most beloved in the Bossy family, ever so unfortunately.

11/28/10, 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dancing Queen!! Hahah! How adorable is that?! I have so many cool memories of family traditions but NOT rolling on the floor to that song!

11/28/10, 6:25 PM  
Anonymous Bryony Boxer said...

"Surround yourself with men who cook well. The end." Great tip, now only if they would listen!

No new traditions, same old, but good.

11/29/10, 11:59 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

I think this was our 4th year of deep-frying the turkey. What I've learned is that the threat of an actual explosion and possible death somehow eliminates the need for emotional explosions, so everybody gets along.

11/29/10, 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Stacey said...

It's not actually a tradition, but I did something different, which my son actually appreciated - I cooked Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, instead of Thursday. This meant he had to wait for all his favorites - yams, baked mac and cheese, etc. The absence of it on the actual day, followed by the anticipation increased the desire and our enjoyment when we actually dined. And it was all because I had a headache from Wednesday to Sunday. It was a nice reminder that the actual day doesn't mean anything; it's the company and the whole experience that really make it Thanksgiving! FYI: The pics of Sage, etc. are adorable!!!

11/29/10, 8:00 PM  
Anonymous Doll Clothes Gal Pal said...

I love everything about this. :) I bet she had a blast helping out huh?

11/30/10, 5:51 AM  
Anonymous Paula/adhocmom said...

I love holiday traditions involving food. Now if I could just get my kid to actually eat some of them. . .

12/1/10, 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THAT (the carrots and the shapes) is freaking amazing. Nice!!!

12/1/10, 5:16 PM  
Blogger Nicole Pelton said...

That is so cool, must find my hannukah cookie cutters. Are you sure you didn't buy those namecards, because ours looked eerily similar (the grandkids stayed over at grandma and grandpas and helped set the table). I made my first ever green bean casserole and my mom totally laughed at me. It had wild shrooms, Trader Joes cream of Portabella mushroom soup and fresh green beans and it was totally yummy (w/those onion things too:) I'm starting that tradition.

12/2/10, 5:50 PM  
Blogger Zaaras said...

Very nice. I like to involve my daughter in cooking too. www.zaarascloset.com

12/5/10, 8:47 AM  

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